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Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday by Nina Eliasoph

By Nina Eliasoph

Civic teams are stated to be the fount of democracy, yet those vibrant pics of yankee existence demonstrate an exciting tradition of political avoidance. Nina Eliasoph followed volunteers, activists and activity membership contributors, hearing them talk--and no longer talk--politics, in quite a number deepest and public settings. not like interview-based reports of political participation and civic tradition, keeping off Politics exhibits how voters create and speak political rules in daily life, and the exertions it takes to supply apathy in a democracy.

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Extra resources for Avoiding Politics: How Americans Produce Apathy in Everyday Life

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I add that one of the most important beliefs is an unspoken belief about talk itself - about where talk matters and about what kind of talk is appropriate where. This "culture of talk" tells us when we need to hide our fears, and when talking will help us work through our fears. " many volunteers said something like what Carolyn said, "Most of the time. Well, at least I'd like to think it's most of the time. Of course, I'm not so sure it really is. But I hope it is. ' " Notice - neither yes nor no nor undecided was the most "real" belief here.

After a while, they summed up: There are a lot of = LIZ: = drunk cops = SHIRLEY: = in Amargo! SHIRLEY: n Shirley joked that people will laugh at them if they see that the police endorsed the petition; but of course, she was only joking. There was no question but that they would seek the police's support. 12 Powerful institutions like the police were crucial allies. No matter how many drunken brawls local police officers had, their seal of approval was important - more important than the volunteers'.

And that "Everyone has something to offer," as they often put it. They hoped to communicate that message through the very act of volunteering; and tried not to pay attention to problems that might undermine that message of hope. So, they tried hard not to care about issues that would require too much talking to solve, and tried to shrink their concerns into tasks that they could define as unpolitical, unconnected to the wider world. These citizens thought they could inspire feelings of empowerment within that small circle of concern; and they implicitly believed that helping people feel empowered was, in itself, doing something good for the community.

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